Centuries-old subterranean shelter found during well drilling

June 15, 2020 - 23:36

TEHRAN – A relatively-vast underground shelter which is estimated to date back to 250 years ago was accidentally found during a well drilling process at the premises of a private house in a village in Gonabad county, northeast Iran.

“An underground shelter was discovered at a depth of five meters below the surface while a well was being dug in a residential house in Razaviyeh village of Gonabad’s Kakhk district,” Gonabad’s cultural heritage department announced on Sunday.

“Initial investigations by cultural heritage experts have so far revealed more than 90 meters of subterranean corridors along with three interconnected chambers which are estimated to date back to 250 years ago,” said Alireza Shenasaei who presides over the department.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the official ruled out rumors saying the discovery is an underground “city”.

“Although some people mistakenly refer to it as an underground city, this is wrong according to experts, and what has been discovered in this village is an underground shelter.”

Highlighting the specs of an underground shelter, he said “An underground shelter is a phenomenon that occurs naturally or humanly at a depth of five to 20 meters. These shelters are connected from inside the houses and sometimes lead to the village castle, and the way out is from the tower of the village.”

“However, these shelters seem to be mostly defensive in areas that were under attack by enemies or bandits, and some used them to store and hide food.”

“Given the location of Gonabad, the establishment of underground shelters in the past, especially in the foothills, has been considered as a defensive structure, and similar examples of these shelters have already been discovered in the villages of Kalat and Disfan,” he concluded.


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